This Research & Knowledge Exchange Doctoral Project brief summarises our priority areas of research interest under the heading of: The Role of Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in supporting sustainable business in Cornwall.

We welcome all research degree applications aligned with and in response to this brief.

Project brief details

The UK has 46 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. These areas area designated as having exceptional landscapes whose distinctive character are preserved in the national interest. AONB play a crucial role in protecting and enhancing the local environment. Research in the past two decades has explored a number of themes relating to AONBs.  This includes, recreation and policy making (Baker 2015), the evolution and development of AONBs (Holdaway and smart 2013), public perception of cultural value of AONBs (King and Martin 2021) and the role of AONB in ecosystem services (Pike 2015 et al). 

Whilst the above areas are far from exhaustive there is a surprising deft of research exploring the role of AONBs as a central element in catalysing sustainability and business development within and beyond their boundaries. 

Expressions of interests are sought to explore the above issue (and related issues) working directly with Cornwall’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Cornwall’s protected landscape, which covers over a third of the county, remains one of Cornwall’s key economic assessment and the CAONB is a central organisation in catalysing positive change within the county. With CAONBs recent Management Plan (2022-2027) it is envisaged that your research will be co - constructed, contributing to the implementation and evaluation of the management plan.  

Baker, A. "Recreation and tourism in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty: key influences on the policymaking process." Current Issues in Tourism 8, no. 2-3 (2005): 93-113. 

Holdaway, E, and Smart, G. Landscapes at Risk?: The Future for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England and Wales. Taylor & Francis, 2013. 

King, I, and John M. "Exploring public recognition and perceived cultural value of the special qualities within English areas of outstanding natural beauty." Sustainability 13, no. 21 (2021): 12178. 

Pike, K., Wright, P., Wink, B. and Fletcher, S., 2015. The assessment of cultural ecosystem services in the marine environment using Q methodology. Journal of coastal conservation, 19(5), pp.667-675 

Strategic alignment

Projects deriving from this brief are expected to sit within the Research & Knowledge Exchange strategy and the following department.

Department Cornwall Business school

All successful research degree project proposals must emphasise a clear alignment between the project idea and our Research & Knowledge Exchange strategy. 

Project brief lead

Dr Greg Borne profile picture
Dr Greg Borne profile picture

Project Supervisor: Dr Greg Borne

Greg has over 20 years experience in researching, teaching and implementing multiple dimensions of sustainable development. He has worked with international organisations such as United Nations as well as organisations in business, government, education and the third sector.

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How to apply

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We welcome all research degree applications aligned with this Doctoral Project brief. ​To apply in response to this brief or learn about the application process click the button below.

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Project brief & project proposal enquiries

To discuss this project brief, ideas or project proposal responding to this brief, please contact: Dr Greg Borne.


Application enquiries

For all other application related enquires please contact the Research & Development team.


T01326 255831

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